Nightshade-Free Survival Guide

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Nightshade Free Survival Guide | Phoenix Helix

“Belladonna: in Italian a beautiful lady, in English a deadly poison.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

What are Nightshades?

You may have heard of the term “deadly nightshade” referring to a plant called belladonna, which was used as a poison in ancient times. Lesser known are the commonly eaten vegetables in the same nightshade family. They aren’t deadly, but they contain enough toxins to cause inflammation in some people, particularly those with autoimmune disease. Often, we don’t realize just how much, until we stop eating them:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers (bell peppers, banana peppers, chili peppers, etc.)
  • Red pepper seasonings (paprika, chili powder, cayenne, curry, etc.)
  • Pimentos
  • Pepinos
  • Tamarillos
  • Goji berries
  • Ground cherries (similar to tomatoes, they have no relationship to fruit cherries)
  • Ashwagandha (an ayurvedic herb)
  • Tobacco
  • Read labels: terms like “spices” and “natural flavors” often contain the above seasonings, and “starch” often comes from potatoes.

Similar sounding foods that are not nightshades:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peppercorns (black, white and pink)

Beware of longer lists on the internet!

  • Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true, and many websites list foods that aren’t nightshades at all, such as blueberries, cauliflower, artichokes, okra, apples, etc. The problem is adding foods to lists based on internet rumor rather than scientific validation. Thankfully, Sarah Ballantyne did some exhaustive research in this area and busted these rumors as myths. So, don’t make your life harder by avoiding more foods than necessary. If you ever wonder if a food is a nightshade, simply look up its scientific family. Only members of the Solanaceae family are nightshades.

How Are They Harmful?

First of all, nightshades aren’t harmful to everyone, but they are often harmful to people with autoimmune disease.

These vegetables all look so different, it’s surprising to discover they’re all part of the same Solanaceae family. They all contain toxic compounds called alkaloids. In nature, these  protect the plants against insects, by poisoning the insect and dissolving its cell membranes. Unfortunately, alkaloids can have a similar effect in humans, increasing our inflammation, overactivating our immune system, and causing permeability in our intestinal membranes (known as leaky gut), all of which contribute to autoimmune disease. If someone’s healthy, with low inflammation in their body, a balanced immune system, and a healthy and strong digestive tract, they can often eat nightshade vegetables without a problem. However, people with autoimmune disease are vulnerable, and nightshades often exacerbate symptoms.

If you want more details on these compounds and how they affect the body, here are two excellent articles:

What are Symptoms of Nightshade Sensitivity?

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness upon waking, or stiffness after sitting for longs periods of time
  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Muscle tremors
  • Sensitivity to weather changes
  • Poor healing
  • Insomnia
  • Skin rashes
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Depression

How Do I Learn If I’m Sensitive?

The only way to know is to eliminate them from your diet for at least 30 days. (No cheating.) Then, reintroduce them into your diet as a test: eat them at least 3 times over a 2-day period, and then stop eating them, and monitor your symptoms for 72 hours. Did you improve during the 30 days? Did you have a negative reaction when you ate them again?  If yes, you’re nightshade-sensitive. If no, you’re not.

You’ll find articles on the internet saying there are no peer-reviewed studies to support the nightshade-inflammation connection. This is true, largely because there’s no profit to be made in that research and therefore no funding. But you’ll also find many people who eliminated them from their diet, reintroduced them, and saw a clear connection between eating them and their symptoms. I’m one of those people, as is Sarah from Paleo Mom, Mickey from Autoimmune Paleo, Whitney from Nutrisclerosis, Stacy from Paleo Parents, and many others.

Does the Amount Matter? Can I Eat Just a Little?

I don’t recommend it. When I first went nightshade-free, I gave up the vegetables but kept eating the spices. I thought, ‘How can such a small amount hurt me?’ My inflammation lessened, but some remained. Then I did a strict elimination protocol, avoiding the spices as well. When I reintroduced them 30 days later, I had a huge reaction. Every joint in my body hurt, and it took 2 weeks before I returned to feeling normal again. Elimination diets are powerful learning tools, because by removing a food from your circulation altogether, you eliminate the chronic inflammatory response. When the food is reintroduced, if you’re sensitive, you will get an acute short-term reaction. It’s a very clear communication from your body on what foods are good for you and what foods are not.

Can You Be Sensitive to One and Not the Others?

It’s possible, because each vegetable has a slightly different alkaloid. You can test yourself by reintroducing them one at a time.

How Can I Live Without Them?

Let’s not lie; it ain’t easy. I cried when I learned I had this sensitivity. These are some of the most delicious vegetables and spices. They’re also heavily used in restaurant and store-bought food, making shopping and eating out even more difficult. However, there is a clear reward to a nightshade-free life: you feel better.

We Can Do This! Here are My Survival Tips:

  • If you’re craving potatoes, replace them with a starchy alternative: sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, butternut squash. You can cook all of these the same way you cook potatoes: fries, chips, roasted, mashed, and you know what? They have more flavor, too!
  • Although there’s really no substitute for a fresh summer tomato, there IS a substitute for a classic tomato sauce and as well as a nightshade-free BBQ sauce.
  • Nightshade spices usually give food a hot kick. You can still get this sensation through non-nightshade spices: white pepper, black pepper, ginger and horseradish. Usually you’ll need more of these spices than you would of the red peppers. Experiment.
  • Restaurants are tricky. Many sauces and spice blends contain nightshade spices. You have two options: ask your waiter how the food is seasoned (and trust them to tell you the truth). Or order your food unseasoned and bring some spices with you. Herbamare is a good choice (lots of flavor, no nightshades).
  • If you want to buy lunch meat, unfortunately most of them have nightshade spices. Paprika is especially overused because it adds color. However, Whole Foods has a “naked” line of deli meats and rotisserie chickens, which means they are simply meat with nothing (including spice) added.
  • US Wellness Meats offers some nightshade-free snack meat options that you can order online (check ingredient lists). Epic sells 3 nightshade-free meat pemmican bars: Bison, Beef and Pork. And Wild Zora sells a delicious nightshade-free Lamb Rosermary Bar.
  • If you’re looking for nightshade-free recipes, I host a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable on my blog, and every recipe shared is nightshade-free. There are over 1500 recipes in the Roundtable Archives, and if you subscribe to my blog, you’ll be notified whenever a new Recipe Roundtable goes live. Also, don’t be afraid to modify recipes you already have. You can often remove an ingredient or two without altering the deliciousness of the dish. Get creative and see what substitutions work best for you.
  • My final gift to you is a nightshade-free curry recipe. Happy cooking!

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AIP Series

I’ve written a series of articles to guide you through the autoimmune protocol, step by step. It includes FAQ, mistakes to avoid, book reviews, and more. Click here to see the whole list.

This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
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Nightshade-Free Survival Guide | Phoenix Helix
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176 thoughts on “Nightshade-Free Survival Guide

  1. Great article! I’ve been off the nightshades for about 2 months (a tiny slip here or there…) Something I’m doing is really helping with my Lupus symptoms – I can’t say for sure this is it – but I suspect it is part of it.

    • Hi thanks so much for your article. I have an amazing story! I have a nut allergy but since June I started to have severe problems with my face going red with a hot fiery hive rash and tongue and eyelid swelling. It became totally debilitating and happened more and more often meaning I had to go to out of hours emergency because I felt so unwell and breathless. I was always given steroids but it came back and I was at my wits end. I was told it may be a contact allergy and got tested and it didn’t show a clear result. I saw an imunologist and was told I had chronic urticaria – caused by an unknown triggger. He gave me high dose antihistamines day and night as I woke up unable to breathe one night and had to take my epi pen and was rushed to hospital. He said if this didn’t work I would need to try immumo suppressants. I was convinced it was a food allergy as my tongue had hives in it too ! I then prayed and asked God what wqs causing it ? I cried out for help. I hen remebered one sat being really bad after eating a baked potato so asked the fox to test my igG to potato and bacon as I ate both. I ate the whope skin too of the potato but normally I dont. Anyhow I just found out I am allergic and was igG 3.53 ! Zero is most people score. I then stopped potato and all potato starch etc. At first I didnt see a huge difference but after three days – wow! I also had lots of people praying for me and on Sunday three days after no potatos I woke up and noticed I didn’t have any hives and my face was amazing. I went to church and realised something was different! I didn’t itch ! My tongue was normal and clear !! Wow !! My eyelid was normal for the first time in months!! Thank you Jesus ! I am amazed as is everyone I know !! And I can be such a cynical person so I am ecstatic! I will not be having any nightshade again! It has changes my life and saved me from a life on immuno suppressants. Keep telling people with immume problems and hives to try no nightshades. I also had terrible cramps and ran to loo when I ate a stirfry of peppers. My eyelid and tongue swole up and my face went red n hives. I woke up w breathing problems that night and had to take steroids to help me. I ate them because I thought they were ok. I then looked up pepper and potato allergy and found all this info on nightshade allergy!! Keep up the good work telling people. I have got the best gift of all!! Healing and lovely skin! J

    • I have pre-lupus and was just told to go off them. I’m also grain-free so I’m wondering what I’m going to be able to eat.

  2. Great information, just wanted to let you know quite a few people with our illness suffer with joint and rheumatoid arthritis so I’m going to add a link to your site…. Thanks for the information and all your hard work to provide for others the information you have. You have done an amazing job!

    James Weedmark

      • Hello Eileen,

        I stumbled on the blog while hunting for info on nightshade affects through potato skin, but a key accelerator to health problems, problems w/nightshade is the gmo and the herbicide coatings that remain persistant on the grains in spite of processing, or subsequent cooking methods.
        GMO and herbicides are dressed up, ‘civilized’ versions of biological and chemical warfare on the ignorant and the 99%. This isnt the forum for going into what’s going on except to contribute insight about gmo herbicides to this discourse in this forum.

        Roundup is a high phosphorous herbicide making inflamation by anything with virtually any amount of phosphorous.

        The genetic engineering also has the grains scientifically corrupted with the ‘insecticide’ component, e coli monsanto and /or the other biotech companies genetically engineering into the grains. This is to eat at the larvae of the insects…

        THIS is most likely what is causing the leaky gut that people are encountering and other colon problems that have parasite characteristics that anti parasitics and more dandelion and powerful anti-oxidents and many thousands of mgs of vit c can help improve against that evil gmo/herbicide blowback condition.

        Any diet, and that includes paleo MUST BE GMO and HERBICIDE FREE. This means organic on meat (only grass fed the entire lifespan animal; no grain fed/alfalfa as there now is gmo alfalfa) animals, organic poultry, organic eggs, organic dairy, NO Processed food including fruit juices with sugars but undefined in their origin which if it’s not cane sugar, which isnt gmo, it’s usually gmo beet sugar which usually IS gmo and thus contaminated…

        GMO and associated herbicide side effects last more than a week although if one goes completely gmo and herbicide free, the differences become quite evident quite quickly. But the genetic engineering and herbicide issues can and often have caused other issues that have long tail, ie a longer negative condition needing long aggressive remediation.

        Cancers, tumors, obesity, organ problems, infertility, birth defects ALL have connection and most likely are origined in GMO and herbicides.

        It’s been interesting to read the comments about these health conditions and things like ‘leaky gut’ not only on this blog but others that seem to miss the gmo/herbicide problem and that as a root cause of most health and disease problems.


        • I can see you’re passionate about this issue, Andrea, and I also avoid GMO foods and see them as ONE of the contributing factors to illness. I think it’s simplistic to see them as the one and only cause, however. There’s so much interacting that brings about illness – it truly is multi-faceted. But you are right – it’s worthwhile to educate ourselves about GMOs and herbicides and avoid them for our health.

    • Thank you as well, I truly believe this is a joint effort. With the dedication of many we will see a change for the better for many, YOU are truly one we will add to our I CARE PEOPLE!!! Thanks for all you do! James

  3. What a great article, Eileen! Last summer I found out the hard way that ground cherries are actually nightshades as well.. I thought since they had cherry in the name, they weren’t even close, but I should have been tipped off by the tomatillo-like outside. 🙂


      • Ground cherries – I have never heard of it! So it begs the question – is it still safe to eat regular fruit cherries? And what are ground cherries exactly?

        • Nicknames for foods do make things confusing. Ground cherries actually look and taste like little tomatoes. They’re not related to the cherry family at all. So, definitely continue to enjoy fruit cherries. They’re full of wonderful phytonutrients (like all berries) and aren’t related to nightshades at all.

    • A type of “ground cherry” is now sold as “golden berries” (a commercial name) in health food stores. They come dried and sometimes fresh. Just so everyone knows, they are in fact a nightshade (scientific name: Physalis)

      • Holy crap. I love goldenberries, have loved them for years and eat them on the regular. This explains so much, and is SO FRUSTRATING. How many obscure favorites am I going to have to give up? 🙁

        Thank you for this. It is heartbreaking but will help me dramatically I’m sure.

  4. Wow! I’ve never heard of this before. This is very informative and worth my looking into. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m found you link on A Humble Bumble blog hop.

  5. Thanks for sharing your informational post! I have heard that tomatoes and peppers can “cause” arthritis… but your post explained how it actually works.

  6. Hmm…I have fibromyalgia and I’ve found that eliminating sugar has been a huge help for my joint stiffness, but I wonder if eliminating nightshade would help, too? I have to admit, I’m not sure I even want to know if I need to eliminate tomatoes and those spices from my diet! It must be really tough.

    • I hear ya! I avoided testing this out myself for a while. Ignorance is bliss sometimes (except when it hurts!) I will say that, like anything, you just develop new food habits and eventually forget about the foods you can’t eat any more. My joint pain reduced enough that I feel grateful now, rather than deprived. However, if you want to wait until summer is over before testing this for yourself, I would completely understand!

      • I don’t know if I’m sorry or not I ran across your article. I’ve been on SCD a long time. It’s pretty lonely. I am somewhat better. But I think if I could control the stiffness and joint pain I might be able to do things again. Also I just planted my whole back yard with tomato plants for canning and froze chili, stew and ribs with sauce. Sometimes I can tell this pain is a reaction to something but I’ve eliminated so much I couldn’t figure it out. I think I already know this will work. I’ll have to change my menu and recipes all over again.
        Thank you for the knowledge, I think.
        I’ll mean it when the pain stops LOL

        • I stopped the nightshades without even did I do it…all you have to do is pay attention to the lingering taste of the nightshade in’s the tell tell taste in peppers as well..I decided that anything as fattening as potato starch must be totally delicious..and I found it not..I hate the lingering twang of the nightshades.

    • I can definitely say nightshade free works wonders lowering my pain. I knew mine was not in joints. I also knew I was hurting a lot but when i came off of them for just a week it was amazing. I then backslid and when the pain came back I thought I would die! The level was obvious because at one level i could not do this, then at level 2 not do something else, so I knew what point pain was when i quit eating them. I was off almost a week and it dropped from a worst of 10 down to about a 4.. I fudged and ate some potatoes… Pain the second day after ingesting went to a 30! But I had to sit and figure out, all my life pain had gradually gone up.. all my life i had been affected.. removing them stopped the pain that i had been so accustomed too. So that when I ate a potato, it SEEMED as if I had been a frog thrown right back in to boling water I had just escaped from a few week before. So coming off of them did not make me more sensitive it just ruined me to eat any and feel that pain again! I wont say other will get same response I have but I am almost afraid to eat anything.. I dont want to ever eat any of them again.

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  8. Great Article. I’m so glad to hear cumin is not a nightshade spice. I thought it was. Thanks for the “curry” spice. So excited to try it.

  9. Dear Eilleen,
    thank you so much for this informative article. I just recently found about the link between my autoimune desease (Hashimoto thyroiditis) and foods and am on quest for finding answers to “why” and “how” some food is bad for me. Your piece brought some much needed epifany to me. Thanks again and all the best!

  10. Thank you for this. I had known I was sensitive to green peppers for about a month, but just in the last few days started having painful reactions to other nightshades. Now I read this and realize I have been suffering with symptoms of this intolerance for longer than I ever realized. I cried when I thought about what I was going to have to give up. I’m glad I found this. It helped me realize that there are other people suffering with this same intolerance and that I will survive without these foods.

    • Hi Travis. Grief is definitely part of the process, but once you start to feel better, it gets replaced with gratitude. Thanks for writing.

  11. My 2 year old suffers with eczema very badly and I have found it can be controlled by eliminating the Nightshade Vegetables from her diet. I’ve been looking for some recipes so thank you for your advice and a really informative blog.

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  14. Is it possible to have a nightshade sensitivity reaction from canning tomatoes? I canned 21 quarts of stewed tomatoes and the next day felt like I was coming down with the flu. My whole body aches but I have no other symptoms, just my whole body aching. I have never been sensitive to tomatoes before but wondering if absorbed enough through my skin to cause a reaction. Thanks for any information you might have on the subject.

      • I don’t know about tomatoes, but I get the same thing when I chop chillies for my green curry paste (about 30).
        I have recently been diagnosed with lupus and am gluten, dairy and sugar free. I am just about to start nightshade free..

  15. Thank you for sharing this information. I am suffering from multiple food intolerances and thought to finally have a bit of control there. So I ate potatos twice last week and tomatoes and a little bit of capsicum in my rice, just to give my *friend* nightshade another chance… I am in much pain right now, haven’t slept for 3 nights and the acne on my face has become more severe. So…if I ever doubted nightshades…I am now very sure! Greetings from Holland 😉

    • It’s amazing how clearly the body speaks when we know how to listen, isn’t it? So sorry you’re going through this! In the long run, knowledge is power. Gentle hugs to you in Holland. ♥

  16. I have been suffering from knee and pain in my hips for the past ten years and it was 2 years ago I stumbled across an article on the internet about the nightshade family of foods and I stopped eating them and within days I felt I had got my life back!. I have experimented by stopping and again eating these foods and its clear these foods give me severe stiffness and joint pain! just wish I had known about these foods years ago.

    I also take a tablespoon full of dried ginger powder mixed in a glass of warm water every morning as ginger has strong anti inflammatory effects! it really helps. I also take a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed in a glass of milk as turmeric is also known for strong anti inflammatory properties.

  17. I have a question, trying to figure out some things. Nightshade is as I told you in another post a huge problem for me! I know nightshades have saponinen in them as well as solanine. Is it possible I react to all things containing saponines like e.g. Spinache, onions, quinoa, tea, legumes, harloc, and also soap and shampoo? I know some saponines like spinache and garlic are good ones for the human body, but I can’t handle them. Hugs from Holland ❤️

    • I don’t have the answer to this one, Foksola. Although I’m sensitive to nightshades, I don’t have any problem with other saponins. We’re all unique though, and anything is possible.

  18. Thank you so much for this info! Last week, I made the most amazing roasted organic chicken, and I made my own curry blend rub with some new spices I had picked up; it was delicious. However, the next morning, my husband and I were both almost completely “broken” – swollen joints, terrible joint pain, stiffness, difficulty moving – it was agony. I’ve been following your blog for a while, so I figured I would check here to see if any of my ingredients were nightshades, and was surprised to see paprika and cayenne on that list (I feel so stupid for not checking first). I had used both smoked paprika and roasted cayenne in my curry blend, everything else I made was fine so those two ingredients had to be the source of our pain. I was pretty vigilant about what we ate before, and am even more vigilant now. Thank you again for your amazing blog!

    • I know, those spices are tricky. All pre-mixed curry blends contain nightshades as well. Did you see my nightshade-free curry recipe? That’s what I use now. Feel free to use it as a starting point and adapt to your taste.

  19. I’m in shock tight now, finding that my all time favourite goji berries are nightshade… I was eating them in mass, and I developed pain in my fingers and hands. ( I was eating lots of tomatoes, too).
    I will calm down and sip some (decaf) tea, and say good-bye to my remaining goji berries. Thank you very much for the information.

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  22. I have been progressively allergic for tomatoes for years now and didn’t know. This problem became impossible to live with. After many visits to gastroenterology specialists and after having done complicated tests I had no choice but to do surgery with a fifty-fifty chance of success, I was told. Prior to the surgery I made a trip to Thailand and China and there all the problems stopped. I had a wonderful vacation not being ruled by the unbearable problems. Once I got back home I started to wonder, why I am OK there and not at home and found that in these countries no tomatoes are eaten! Meanwhile I put myself on an elimination diet and found that paprika’s are not my thing either and I will continue. I am not unhappy at all, that I cannot eat those vegetables anymore, but rather so grateful that before doing useless and tough surgery, I went to Thailand and China and discovered the problem. It is amazing that the many medically trained people didn’t think of this possibility. I suffered my whole life from migraines…(related?) and have recently found to have arthritic pains in the fingers and limbs (related?)
    Liked your article immensely, in particular, as you mentioned, that there is not found too much about it in Internet. Thank you!

    • Sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to find! It would be so nice if doctors had more training in the influence of food on our health. I’m so glad you discovered this connection for yourself. Better late than never!

  23. Thanks for this! When I went nightshade-free almost 3 years ago there was almost nothing available in terms of reading or recipes. Now more and more people are discovering how much nightshades are affecting their health. This is a great page! Going nightshade free was a huge learning curve (and still is). It’s nice to find support now.
    Some things to maybe add to your survival guide: packaged shredded cheese nearly always contains potato starch as do many mayonaises (as well as paprika), and even some ice creams are unsafe. Thank you for your blog!

  24. I don’t see tobacco on your nightshade list. My sister had rheumatoid arthritis from teenage on. She never smoked herself but was exposed to smokers for many years – my father, grandfather who lived with us, her husband, colleagues and of course the general public. When business offices began to be smoke-free it started to become very obvious that her difficulties waxed and waned according to sporadic smoke exposure. She even found pain and stiffness increased when she drove past tobacco plantations on her way to North Carolina. For both of us the sensitivity also produced emotional effects – weepiness, angry outbursts. Hotels, which are not smoke-free in any sense that would benefit those who have a problem, as well as rental cars, which don’t claim to be smoke-free, can be a real challenge. After having at least twelve vacation trips ruined I now carry a homeopathic remedy to counteract the impact of these contacts.

    • I didn’t include tobacco because it’s not a food, but you make a good point that exposure in other ways makes a difference. Thankfully, smoke isn’t (and never has been) a part of my life. I’ve edited the article to add it to the list. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  26. I feel so hopeless right now. I have Hypothyroidism and Celiac. I am learning that I now can’t eat Nightshades because they are making me sick and my mouth gets all full of sores. I used to love food but now I feel like I can’t eat anything I used to enjoy. It’s so frustrating to live like this. I’m glad I found your blog. I won’t feel so alone.

    • Sherry, there is a grief process in losing favorite foods. But with time, you’ll discover new favorites. I eat delicious food every day and no longer feel deprived. If you aren’t already following the AIP Recipe Roundtables, I host them here on my blog every week. You’ll find lots of great recipes from creative cooks, who know exactly what you’re going through.

        • Hi Sherry,
          I am gluten, dairy and sugar free and just going nightshade free now. It is tough, especially when many of the foods that you have to give up have very addictive qualities. It is OK to admit this and that it is a struggle.
          But as the addictive effects wear off, you will want these foods less and less. I went from having pasta at least once per day, to now only getting a craving for it once every 4-6 weeks. I craved sugar for weeks after I gave that up and now realise how sweet vegetables and fruits really are, and find most sweetened foods to be way too sweet (something I didn’t think was possible previously).
          I am hoping that I will feel the same way in time with nightshades.

  27. Hello,
    I was advised 20 years ago to stay off nightshades (and quit ballet class) because of hip arthritis. Out of desperation, I finally tried cutting out nightshades last year. It has made a difference significant enough that I am will to continue not eating foods that I have loved and enjoyed for many years. One of my struggles is that one of my children has to have a gluten-free diet, and most gluten-free flours and baked goods contain potato starch. I am slowly experimenting with new flour substitutions. Today I learned that some American Chinese restaurants put ketchup (and other surprising ingredients) in their dishes. I appreciate blogs like this one for revealing nightshades in places I would never think to suspect. Thank you.

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  29. Eileen I WAS thinking of try kombucha I have been seeing it a lot. I was wondering does it help RA AND how much should I drink? Also is there a good aip rendly probiotic you can recommend, I heard it good for your stomach.

    • I love kombucha, and I do find it has pain-relieving benefits as well as digestive benefits. It’s a subtle effect, but every little bit helps! Check out my kombucha series of articles, if you haven’t already. As for probiotics, I haven’t yet found one that worked for me. In looking for a brand for yourself, the most important thing is to find one that’s allergen-free (which is hard to do since most are dairy-based), and then pay attention to how you feel when you’re taking it. I wrote an article on supplements, you might also find helpful.

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  31. I had really loose painful bowel movements all my life and found that I was sensitive to nightshade vegetables after keeping a food journal.

    The food journal I kept had a column for date, food eaten, and a bowel movement rating out of 10 which helped me pinpoint nightshades as the culprit. I now am very careful to not eat any nightshades even while dining out(Google every dish before ordering).

    The food journal worked wonders for me.

    • Food intolerance often shows up in digestive sympoms. Thanks for sharing, Ben, and I’m so glad you pinpointed the source of yours. Food journals are wonderful tools.

  32. Thank you so much for this article! I’m recently diagnosed with RA and while plain Paleo is helping my inflammation, I know I need to knuckle down and take the AIP leap. This piece really gave me hope that I’m not giving up that much more with AIP than plain Paleo.

    • I’m so glad, Victoria. Giving up nightshades was hard for me at first, but when my RA flares went away, it was totally worth it.

  33. Thanks for this great article, and the curry recipe! I was thinking I could just cut out the vegetables and keep the spices, but after reading this it seems like the best path is to go whole hog. I have been following a Paleo diet for a year now and seen much improvement in headaches and digestive issues. I still have bad arthritis pain in my foot from an old injury. I have a feeling Nightshade free is the way to go as I have already cut out tomatoes since they make me extremely bloated. I have a question for you… I have this great homeopathic cream for muscle pain and it has Belladonna in it. Do you know if that would also be considered a nightshade?

    • Belladonna is definitely a nightshade. I recommend looking for a cream that contains Arnica instead. (Also great for muscle pain, but not a nightshade.)

  34. Thanks for this article and site. I need to find out more. I’m already avoiding gluten, soy, dairy and wheat but am reacting to a supposedly allergen free spaghetti sauce that I made and am wondering if nightshades are the cause. I have an autoimmune disorder so it’s possible.

  35. Hey Eileen I guess I’mjust a hard learner.. Lol I tried reintroduction of tomatoes last sunda and wow big mistake. I wokeup Monday with an ache in me hip and that progressively got worse as the week continued. Finaly feeling better after 4 days of pain. Tough lesson but know you couldn’t pay me to eat nightshades.

    • I think we’re all hard learners sometimes, but when we get a message that strong, we finally get it. I’m glad your flare has passed.

  36. Hey there. Wondering if fatigue fits in here or “bone pain”. I am wondering about if I might be reacting as I’ve been having some goofy symptoms this week and have been eating quite a few tomatoes. Thanks and hope you are well!

    • Hi Adrienne. Yes fatigue and bone pain are possible nightshade reactions. If you’d like to test it, stop eating the tomatoes for 30 days, and then reintroduce to see how your body reacts. If you’re up for a wider test, I recommend giving up all nightshades for those 30 days for a totally clear baseline. I’m sorry you’re experiencing pain, and hope it passes quickly!

  37. I suffer with psoriasis and joint pain. Finishing up my first whole 30. My psoriasis has improved but my joint pain has not. Guess I will go another 30 days, eliminating nightshades this time. Hope it helps!

  38. Pingback: Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo AIP | The Whole30® Program

  39. I am just starting to wonder if nightshades are causing some of my more recent issues (maybe even ones that started five years ago too). I can’t seem to find if they can be a cause of what I am currently going through, but I do know I have been eating a lot of potato and peppers. I have been getting a tightness feeling in my throat/neck and collarbone and it’s really freaking me out.

    • There’s an easy way to find out. Give up nightshades for 30 days and see if that feeling goes away. I realize that’s challenging to do in the summer, but feeling good is worth it!

  40. Is it fair to say that this throat/neck/collarbone feeling could take more than a few days to go away after removing nightshades?

    • Absolutely. That’s why you need to eliminate them for at least 30 days. That’s enough time to see some improvement, and if you choose to test reintroducing them, you’ll get a clear reaction if they’re the problem.

  41. I’ve been on the AIP diet for eight weeks now. I wasn’t ready to add anything back in, but I accidentally ate something with red pepper flakes! Ouch! My lips are hurting! Well, at least I know nightshades are not my friends. My swollen lips are what pushed me to this diet. I think I am sensitive to ALL nightshades including my beloved tomatoes!

  42. Thanks so much for your final gift of curry!! I cant wait to try it. Curry is one of my favorite things ever! If I eat nightshades I have hives for 24 hours and my throat will close up. I miss Mexican and Thai food the most. If anyone know of a potatoes yeast free beer let me know. I know that stuff like corona and budwiser are fine, but I want a microbrew. A good beer.

  43. I’ve been on AIP except for some cheats with coffee and chocolate for about 6 weeks, and my IC and tendonitis and osteoarthritis only vary a bit within a certain range, but then again no standard test shows any autoimmune (RF, citruline(my bad spelling), ANA). So I am adding some things back and I feel the same, except a bunch of string and mung beans were hard to digest, so I’m trying to figure that out. But what I do want to say about nightshades is that my naturopath told me she has patients that flare from some nightshades and not others, so it is important to test each one and not always lump them together. I hope this would help someone, but don’t risk it if you think it will make you to sick. Eliminating them did not seem to affect me one way or another, but I ‘ll see what happens when I test them.

  44. Thanks so much, Eileen, for writing this and to all the others that have commented. After already giving up soy, dairy, gluten, egg, onion, grains and beans, I thought I was the only one who cried at the prospect of giving up nightshades. It means learning a whole new way to cook. It helps to have company.

  45. Interesting article.

    As a child I never liked bell pepper or tomatoes or eggplant. Living in the South, rice was the typical starch, not potatoes. When I moved to South Texas as a young adult I developed a fondness for jalapenos and other spicy Mexican food. Around age 30 (and then living in the Northeast) I developed a severe digestive intolerance to peppers ( I react like food poisoning) and learned the link of paprika to peppers.

    I’ve been off “whites” (including potatoes) several times and notice that the clicking in my joints goes away but I’ve always associated this change with getting rid of those low glycemic carbs, not with potatoes as part of the night shade family.

    Over the years, I’ve developed a taste for tomatoes but still don’t care for eggplants.
    In prepping to do a 30 day cleanse for health reasons my nutritionist mentioned the nightshade family when I told her that I can’t tolerate peppers and I found this article. I am now convinced that I’m one of those that has a nightshade intolerance and I’ll be eliminating all of them on my cleanse. (and I’ve also forwarded this to my dad who can no longer tolerate peppers and has digestive and skin issues.)

    What’s fascinating to me is that these are the very foods I didn’t like as a child – hmmmm – maybe we as parents need to think twice about making our kids eat things they don’t like!

  46. I have been looking for websites to post since I can’t get a response from Dr. Childers site (he may have passed, he would be 104 if still with us) to alert folks that Pravastatin has nightshades in it. A friend who has been off nightshades was placed on it and got worse and worse and discovered it contains nightshades. Please alert anyone who could be affected by this

    • Since I posted this, the nightshade in it is petunia. It is being used in a lot of areas including genetically modified ones. Be very careful. BTW bought Carolyn’s book, great job!

  47. Thanks for the info. I eat all those nightshades and personally I think I have autoimmune–all the swelling, joint pains, etc. and other symptoms. I will try to avoid them and find out for myself. The doctors just gave me meds which didn’t really address my pain.

  48. Thanks for the info, did not know about nightshades and now I understand why I got sik eating “safe” food. Your blog is so helpfull, and I have learned a lot that will help me to eat the right food. My tongue use to be svullen but now it is normal size again (nightshades?) I have less pain and fatique. I use Methotrexate and hope that I can get off the medication in the future.

  49. I discovered last March that I’m sensitive to nightshade. I have fibromyalgia and it has reduced inflammation so i am pretty strict about it. I have missed curry etc so much! I was searching Google for substitutions for peppers and found your great article. Thank you so much for the curry and tomato sauce recipes! I can hardly wait to try them!!

  50. Pingback: Recipes That Are Nightshade Free | We Get Healthy

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  54. Thank you for posting this! Tomatoes have always hurt my stomach and other dishes would make me sick as well, but I could never pin down the exact ingredient. It was so frustrating! About nine months ago I read an article on nightshades and realized that all of foods on the list make me sick. I have been nightshade free since then and have felt so much better!

  55. I wish it were easier to find out where nightshade spices hide – or even bits of the big stuff like peppers. Also that more restaurants and servers – or the general public – knew what nightshades are. And that tobacco’s one of them and as far as I’m concerned may be the cause of a lot of misery, both physical and emotional, from not only direct but also residual smoke, as in hotel bedding and drapes, rental car interiors, etc. Took me a long time to find out why I got weepy and my legs got week on too many vacations where nobody was actually smoking near me.

  56. I was having chronic pain in my hands, hips, back, knees, but mostly my toe joints for about three years. I finally went to a Rheumatologist. She diagnosed me with sero-negative RA. I started on Plaquinil and steroid. Wow, the steroid made me feel great, but it was as needed, and that was everyday! Not a long term solution. Every time I stopped the steroid my symptoms would return. The Plaquinil was not modifying the zero-negative RA. One thing was consistent, I was trying to eat healthy, and I would have a V8 drink every day with my breakfast and lunch. I looked up the connection between tomatoes and joint pain and found many articles on Nightshade vegetables. I stopped drinking V8 the next day. I felt %50 better in three days and much better by now just by eliminating the V8 (That was 23 OZ daily however.) This is certainly NOT scientific but it is working for me. I plan on asking to be removed from the Plaquinil on my next Dr. visit!

    • It’s amazing what a difference it makes, and you’re not the first person to have that reaction unknowingly to V8. Thanks for sharing your story, Dave.

  57. Is it possible to basically get these symptoms all of a sudden? I have never noticed a problem, but for about a month and a half I have had terrible hives, esp. At night and in the morning. Sometimes the hives produce joint and bone pain “underneath”. Some throat irritation as well. I was just working with my tomato plants outside today and had a big outbreak of hives and pain on my hands, which is what has suddenly given me this idea. Thoughts??

    • I agree with Sue. It’s not uncommon for sensitivities to appear later in life, for lots of different reasons. I recommend avoiding the tomatoes (or even all nightshades) for a month and see if your hives disappear.

  58. Hi there
    I am wanting to start a nightshade vegetable and fruit free diet, is there a recipe book I can purchase?

    • Hi Cathy. Fruit-free is easy to to – you don’t need a cookbook for that. But I don’t recommend fruit-free diets. Fruit has a lot of nutrition, so long as you don’t overdo it. Berries are especially beneficial, containing more antioxidants than many vegetables. Just avoid Goji berries, since they’re a nightshade. If you’re looking for a nightshade-free cookbook, here’s one on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used it, so can’t give it a review either way: Caroline’s No Nightshade Kitchen.

  59. Based on my experience, I would say yes. I have had sudden RX to chiggar bites (and I live in the South!), when I never reacted before. I think some of it has to do with my having autoimmune conditions. When the immune system is in a mood to act up, it reacts vigorously!

  60. Is it ok to have infused oil such as chilli oil, garlic oil etc? The chilli taste is within the oil but the actual pieces of chilli remain in the bottle. Hoping so as getting a bit sick of steamed veggies. Thanks for you time.

    • No Kerry. Chili oil will give you the same reaction as eating nightshades, so you want to avoid that. However, garlic isn’t a nightshade, so you can eat as much of that as you want. Lastly, if you want some flavor boosts for your veggies, check out my tips here for adding flavor and heat to you food: Spices on the AIP.

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  65. Thank you for your article. I’d never heard of nightshade intolerance, so I’m very grateful for the info that I can now look into further.

    Now in my 50s and having the past 20 years destroyed due to severe chronic illness involving multiple systems after an initial bout of ME after stomach flu, I was never taken seriously by doctors and was basically treated as a malingerer. But since my 40s my joints and spine got involved, but I was still fobbed off, until recently having xrays and MRIs have proven how severely damaged my vertabrae and joints are – which after looking into it I believe has been the ultimate outcome of living with a chronically dysfunctioning digestion system, intolerance and allergies that for years manifested as all the horrible systemic ills that I was suffering.

    It’s a big lesson for everyone not to simply believe doctors, or be put off by them, but now we have the internet use it wisely to try and find why you feel so very unwell all the time when doctors say there’s nothing wrong.

    I wish the light had dawned much sooner for me to make me wonder whether food could be the real root of my problems. But I honestly believed the lie that unless you have a full-blown allergy everything is just in your mind and intolerance is just belly ache. I’ve known for ages that potato juice made my hands red and itchy like contact dermatitis, but it didn’t equate to me that potato could also be irritating the inside of my body after eating it.

    A few months ago after becoming addicted to bread products and for a week having eaten several portions per day I realised that my mouth, tongue, throat felt raw, coated and sore, and my breath was foul. So I stopped eating bread and began feeling much better generally, which surprised me, so I decided to give up gluten and within three weeks I felt more well than I had done for many years; there was much less pain and I only needed a third of my meds.

    But there has still been something wrong when I eat. So after not having potato for a long time I ate a large portion for a few days and have become inflammed and painful. My tongue and throat are sore with a burning/raw sensation. So it’s clear that potato is my nemesis and I’ve started looking at starch intolerance, and my specific search query led me to find your page!

    I now have to figure out if I have only nightshade intolerance, or starch, or both. Your page makes great sense to me as I have those symptoms, plus I love nightshades and eat them every day! I’m very glad I found you, so I realise that nightshades might be like poison to my body – it kind of does feel like I’ve swallowed something caustic since eating potatoes. I will eliminate the nightshades and see what happens, then I will eliminate all starches. If I then eat a big portion of a nightshade that isn’t a starch I will know my answer.

    Although I’m going to have to stick to a very restricted diet with no gluten and perhaps both nightshades AND starches out, it will be well worth it if it means that my pain/inflammation and other severe ills are going to be significantly better, or even eliminated, because I’ve been so sick that I’ve had to try very hard not to kill myself to end the pain and lack of sleep.

    Thanks once more for your understandable article. I wish you wellness.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Jan. It is frustrating that doctors don’t see the connection between food and health. Best wishes with your experiments – my hope for you is that you become completely pain-free.

  66. Do you know if fermentation affects nightshades at all by reducing the sensitivity? I’ve had a hard time finding information about that. For example, fermented salsa? Thanks!

  67. I have just reached one year being nightshade-free and cannot believe what a difference it has made!

    Before cutting out nightshades I would experience stomach pain immediately after eating tomatoes and was sensitive to other nightshades as well. By cutting out all nightshades I went from having stomach pain every week to only a few episodes over the year (I have learned the hard way that a lot of meat seasonings and asian sauces have chilies hidden in them, so be careful when ordering food at restaurants!).

    I know it can seem daunting cutting out nightshades completely, but it made such a different for me and has been entirely worth it.

    Some nightshade-free tips:
    -pesto sauce and sweet potatoes make great substitutes
    -if I don’t think a waiter will take my request for no catchup or paprika on my food seriously, I use the word “allergic” and they are often much more receptive to my dietary needs
    -for many recipes it is easy to leave out nightshade spices and still have a tasty dish

  68. Like many here i have been struggling with unexplainable diverse and debillitating symptoms since a surgery 2 years ago. I tried an elimination diet, but muddled it, stayed away from wheat, but symptoms persisted. I think i knew that potatoe was a problem, but went into denial due to emotional food attachment! Recently suspected nightshades, so all this info has been really helpful. Eileen, just have to say what an incredibly kind and supportive lady you are thankyou

  69. Wow, this is what I needed to know. Thank you!!! I am new to your website – came here for the great AIP meal ideas. The round table has been a Godsend. I have been on restricted diets for years and finally have been following strict AIP for about 8 months, but have never gotten completely rid of symptoms (or lost any weight *sigh*). I recently found out from my Functional Med. Dr. that I am hypothyroid, as well as, having issues with Adrenal Fatigue. She put me on two herbal supplements and for the first 6 months I felt great, then I started to see more symptoms, and now have bad joint pain. Due to my increased symptoms, I decided it was time to re-start my AIP from the beginning. No change. Frustrated, today I finally searched for a complete list of nightshade plants, before going over all my supplements and re-reading personal care product labels. There is Ashwagandha in two of the supplements I was put on! And, I am taking 9 to 12 of those puppies a day! Thank you, thank you. Had NO idea it was a nightshade. I am looking forward to not only feeling better, but perhaps educating another doc! So relieved.
    Thanks for helping me find the answer.

  70. Is black pepper, especially black peppercorns, safe?
    And how about Apple cidar vinager?
    Thank you.
    I am going to elimate nightshades and see how I do.

  71. Thank you for this information. My son (9) has Eosinopfilic Esophagitus and has now had to go nightshade free he also has to have a extream gerd diet and avoid corn. He struggled with the new changes but knowing there are others to help come up with fun recipes is a huge weight off.

  72. Great article! I’m new to all of this. My husband is an extremely stubborn picky eater and was just diagnosed with Lupus, high pre-diabetes, high wheat allergy, chron’s, yeast allergy, and hashimotos. I actually cried because I can’t figure out what to cook for him and provide snacks (he has to eat every 2 1/2 hours) when he won’t eat anything or try anything hardly. He said turkey burgers are awful…. He won’t eat quinoa so my meal shoes are so limited. He is not into any kind of hip or trendy ingredient recipes. He also reuses to eat the same thing more than once in a day. I am even doing this with him to support him. I went to whole foods and spent over 400.00! If i had the money, i would hire someone to teach me how to make food he likes!

    • Hi Amy. It sounds like your husband might like the paleo diet, which is the one I recommend for autoimmune disease. It eliminates grains and legumes – that means no quinoa. And it embraces high quality meats, fats, fruits and vegetables. He doesn’t have to eat turkey burgers. Beef burgers are fine. However, he will have to give up processed foods, pizza, breads, cookies, soda, etc. In the end, he has to be the one who wants to to heal. Unfortunately, you can’t make him. And we all empathize! It’s hard to watch someone we love make poor health choices. I recommend the book The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. It’s written by a man I respect who is a straight-talker. A lot of men get the message when it comes from Robb.

  73. I found a nightshade free yellow mustard that I’m going to try. It comes from Canada. I sent an email to verify ingredients, and this was their response. “First I would like to thank you for your interest in our product. The Product is Maison Orphee Organic Yellow Mustard.
    The only ingredients in our mustard are water, organic apple cider vinegar, organic mustard seeds, sea salt and organic turmeric.
    Should you have any other question, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

  74. If anyone is interested, Just Mayo (Original) is nightshade free. Email from Hampton Creek: “Just Mayo Original is totally free of nightshades! But you won’t be able to have the flavors— garlic, chipotle, and sriracha— as they contain some nightshades such as peppers.”
    So only the original is nightshade free. But that’s what I was buying anyway. I actually get it at my local Walmart. Yea!!

  75. Hi Eileen,

    Thanks so much for this article and your site. I couldn’t do the AIP with out it! My question is that I have heard that spinach is also a night shade, is this true? It’s not on your list. I am hoping it’s not because I make juice and smoothies with it and have not been off of it with the AIP.

    Thank you


    • Hi Latifa. No, spinach is not a nightshade. I actually address this in the article, in the paragraph under “Beware of longer lists on the internet.”

  76. I am a person who suffers from hidradenitis suppurativa HS for short it is apperently a autoimmune disease which causes abscesses in the groind armpits breasts buttocks areas from some of the research I have done many say that eliminating nightshades is the key I would like to thank you for the information it seems to be a more complete list than I have seen so for I have never seen potatoes on any list before I’m glad that I don’t like most carbs I have yet tried to remove them from my diet honestly don’t know how I’m going to go without my spices or tomatoes but if it will give me some relief from this horrible condition after almost 30 years I’m willing to try it but was hoping you might be able to tell me on a good substitute for paprika and BBQ sauce which I love and use almost daily as well as I’m a person of very low budget and because of this I’m forced to eat things like potatoes spaghetti for the low cost is it much more expensive to eat this way I live almost half under the poverty line so I’m very much hoping it is cost efficient to do this thank you again for sharing and any information you might be able to give me

  77. Organic Prairie Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs do not contain any nightshades. I verified this with the company. I have found them in two different supermarkets in my area. Also found them when traveling to Rockwall, Texas. I love them and stock up on them.

    “Thank you for contacting Organic Prairie.
    The Organic Prairie Grassfed Beef hot dogs spices include organic white pepper and no nightshades.
    If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Lori P.
    Organic Valley / Organic Prairie
    Consumer Relations Associate

  78. Your blog has become my new bible. Thanks so much for putting this information out here for people like me. I’m on day 4, pain and stiffness seems to be cycling in and out, but I feel clearer mentally and less bloated. Determined to stick it out and cautiously hopeful that I can once again enjoy life without constant debilitating pain!

  79. I just started going to a Functional Medicine doctor. He recommended I go completely sugar free and nightshade free. I’m getting worried I’m going to be living on salad 🙁 I can only have half a serving of berries/day.

    I’m already paleo, grain-free and dairy-free.

  80. I followed the no-nightshades plan for a month and lost pain, stiffness, brain fog and 21 pounds! Then I relapsed. I call it that because as a recovering alcoholic, I know the thinking that leads to using something not healthy for me. After two weeks of pain and stiffness enough was enough and I’m back (sigh) on the wagon. But this experience really drove home for me how important this way of eating is for my health. I’m so grateful for the information and community I find here.
    BTW making my own curry seasoning (per your recipe) made me feel like a real chef! It enabled me to enjoy my favorite Spicy Curry Kale Salad recipe – I just leave out the cayenne and add more garlic and ginger. So delicious!
    And I have found Annie’s Organics mustard with no nightshades, and Sir Kensington mayo. Onward and Upward to better health!!
    Thank you for your dedication to better health for us all.

  81. I have two daughters who suffer from extreme nightshade sensitivity. Despite our best efforts, there are occasional incidents. Immediate consumption of copious amounts of liquid seem to help a bit. But once the headache and vomiting have begun, what can we do to speed the process of eliminating the toxins from the body?

  82. Thanks for the great article Eileen. I haven’t yet tried to re-introduce any nightshades and am thinking that I may not even try although I miss chipotle a lot (sigh). Before starting the AIP I had a permanent, unremitting low grade headache (24/7) but now, having been on the AIP for more than 4 months, I only get the occasional headache. I feel so blessed!

  83. Thank you so much for this information. I have been progressively been getting worse year after year for at least 6 years now. I thought I had tried everything. My arthritis has gotten so bad in every joint it’s debilitating. I was told my one doctor that I have fibromyalgia as well as arthritis every where, They have me on medicine for both. I have tried tons of natural remedies. I cannot take this pain any longer. I found Dr. Hyman’s 10 days detox & have done that for almost a month now. Basically eating veggies & meat. I have not felt better. I have actually felt worse. Guess what I have been eating tons of? You got it! Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, curry, AND I take the supplement for ashwangda. Not sure that is spelled correct. I feel like I have just stumbled on to my answer! I am past the point of feeling deprived & I just want to feel better!! I really love spices so thank you for the curry recipe. I will definately try it! I thought I read somewhere that chamomile tea wasn’t good either. I don’t see it on your list of nightshades. If I have chronic inflammation is there a reason I should avoid that? This all makes me crazy since I bought it to help with my inflammation!! Thank you so much! I will start following you more. I can’t wait to see how I feel in 30 days! Thanks again!

    • Robin, I’m so glad you found my blog and this article. There is a such a strong connection between arthritis and nightshades. It’s made a huge difference for me. I hope it does for you as well. Chamomile isn’t a nightshade and should be fine to drink.

  84. Thank you so much! I just went though all of my supplements. One of them has lycopene. I know that is in tomatoes. Will that affect me if I keep taking it?

    • Hi Robin. It depends on where they got the concentrated lycopene. If it’s from tomatoes, you’ll want to avoid it. I recommend contacting the supplement company to ask.

  85. Pingback: Nightshade-Free Nomato Sauce (AIP - Paleo)

  86. Hi there! I did think of one more question after hearing from my doctor. He doesn’t feel like I have anything wrong because my inflammation markers are normal. Does that mean anything to you? It doesn’t to me since I feel so badly all the time & would love to have your insights. Thank you!!

    • Hi Robin. Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t give medical advice, but you wouldn’t be the first person whose doctor said you were fine because all of your bloodwork was normal, when your symptoms say otherwise.

  87. Pingback: Meatballs with Nomato Sauce (AIP - Paleo - Nightshade-Free)

  88. Have had problems with mood, digestion and brain fog for several years. Definitely have candida. Paleo has helped. Food journal suggests night shades. Can they cause such symptoms? I probably eat tomatoes almost everyday. But only a little. Is that enough to cause such problems?

    • Hi Brent. Yes, those symptoms are all listed in the article above, and any exposure has the potential to cause them. Moderation doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to nightshade sensitivity. However, the only way to know for sure is to remove them for 30 days and see if your symptoms improve.

  89. While I make every effort to steer clear of nightshades – both obvious and hidden – it does seem that some of them are more detrimental for me than others. It also seems that quantity may in fact make a bit of difference, sometimes if not all the time. And of course there’s the old bugaboo, expectation – if I don’t know these items are in a restaurant meal but when I find out about it afterward I sometimes see that I’ve had no reaction. It appears that allergies and sensitivities may have their own rules, and as with everything else having to do with health, can be different for different people. I imagine this is heresy, but the attempt to be totally pure can produce a lot of other problems – and stress definitely has an effect on the muscle issues I deal with. So many variables to consider.

    • Hi Janet. It can’t be heresy unless diet becomes religion, and none of us want that! Yes, in the article I mention that some people do find they are sensitive to some nightshades and not others. Going through a careful reintroduction process can help you identify them one at a time. And there’s certainly different levels of sensitivity. My friend Sophie can “get away” with eating nightshades occasionally because her symptoms are minor. For me, I’ll have pain for weeks so I don’t take the risk. We are all unique, and it’s a journey to find what our individual bodies need.

  90. Pingback: Why Not Nightshades | Healing While On AIP

  91. I had suffered a horrible rash for over a year and a half. I tore myself to bits and woke each morning covered in blood (when I DID sleep). I was treated for everything from scabies to every kind of eczema. I had biopsies and injections. I tried every holistic home remedy short of soaking in bleach. Finally through my own research, I found out about nightshades. It was then that I realized that many of my other symptoms such as joint pain, muscle issues, headaches, insomnia, brain fog and so on were probably related. I stopped consuming nightshades and a great portion of my health issues were lessened if not gone all together. I still have other immune problems and allergies. I have problems with some dairy, wheat, certain grains amd sugars. I am learning and adjusting as I go along. So glad to have learned that simply removing nightshades could give me so much relief!

  92. Wow. Thank you for this information! About 8 years ago, I had an acute reaction to tomatoes, with unexplained knee pain for about 4 years before that. Since then, I’ve just done without tomatoes (other things seem to not bother me). Reading this article ahs made so much sense…and was much more helpful than visiting the nutritionist I once did. Thank you!!!! I’m excited to find that there is a community out there who also knows the pain!

  93. Wondering if anyone knows if Lacto-Fermenting nightshade vegetables will degrade/reduce the lectins and alkaloids? Or, if other processing methods have been helpful in reducing these compounds allowing for nightshades to be more easily tolerated or re-introduced?? I.e.. Cooking, removing peels, pickling etc..

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